It's not uncommon for major disaster events to be turned into movies or tv series. And that's precisely the theme for High Water, a Polish drama now available to stream on Netflix.
The gripping six episode limited drama series stars Agnieszka Żulewska, Tomasz Schuchardt, Ireneusz Czop, and Tomasz Kot.
The show is inspired by the real events of 1997 and is the first time the story has been adapted on screen.
What Is High Water About?
In July 1997, a female hydrologist, Jaśmina Tremer (Agnieszka Żulewska), notified the authorities in the city of Wrocław that the water levels in the region were rising at a rapid rate and that a flood was imminent.
Authorities then tried to figure out of the flood would actually happen or if it would bypass the city. Scientists disagreed on the basics so clerk Jakub Marczak (Tomasz Schuchardt) decided to go with Tremer's plan.
That involved destroying flood plains further out into the countryside to divert the flow of water. What nobody realised is that the model drawn up was based on maps from 1967.
Once the mistake was realised, it became more difficult for the plan to be altered. Only Kety, a small farming village outside of the city, was the last resort for stopping the flood.
At the same time, Andrzej Rębacz (Ireneusz Czop) returns to his hometown of Kety, the farming village near Wrocław, to renovate the family home and unexpectedly leads the rebellious residents against the disaster.
As the destructive flood wave threatens to engulf the city, the local government officials are faced with life and death decisions that will change the history of the entire region.
High Water Official Trailer
Is High Water Worth Watching?
There really is a lot to like about High Water. As a six-part limited series, the story moves along at a steady pace but doesn't outstay its welcome.
A lot of the focus is on the characters themselves, as the impending flood is minimised by the authorities, causing confusion for the people of the town. Is there even a flood coming?
While the facts are not in dispute, as this is based on a true story, the dramatisation of High Water is largely fiction. For example, Jaśmina Tremer and Jakub Marczak are not real people.
According to producer and creator Anna Kępińska, the story aims to capture ‘the moods and emotions of the events to create a universal story about making difficult decisions, the conflict of generations, and the tensions between individual and the collective, the city, and the countryside.‘
Overall though, High Water combines a fictional set of players with the true story of the flood wave and it makes for very engaging tv.
It's a bit of a slow burn but does create the tension and drama needed to keep you hooked.
High Water Netflix Cast
Directed by Jan Holoubek and Bartlomiej Ignaciuk and written by Kasper Bajon, Anna Kepinska and Kinga Krzeminska, High Water could only be successful if the cast brought it to life.
And they do. So who are the cast members of High Water on Netflix?
Agnieszka Zulewska as Jaśmina Tremer, a hydrologist who discovers the rising water levels and who also has a past with Jakub.
Tomasz Schuchardt as Marczak, a local clerk in the town of Wrocław who tries to stop the flood wave from hitting the city.
Marta Nieradkiewicz (Ultraviolet) as Ewa Rucik, a local news reporter.
Blanka Kot as Klara Marczak, Jakub's daughter.
Miroslaw Kropielnicki as Colonel Czacki
Ireneusz Czop as Andrzej Rebacz, who leads a rebellion to stop the floodplains of Kety from being destroyed.